The Apostolic Faith work had its beginning in the early part of the twentieth century during a worldwide spiritual awakening among Christians who had been praying for the Latter Rain outpouring of the Holy Spirit, as promised by the prophet Joel. Reports of a revival in Wales fueled hope among believers in other parts of the world that the end-time revival had indeed begun.
The prayers of earnest seekers were answered when the long-awaited Pentecostal outpouring came in April of 1906 upon a group of saved and sanctified people in Los Angeles, California. Known as the Azusa Revival, the infilling of the Holy Spirit empowered many for Christian service.
Florence Crawford, the founder of this organization, was among those who received the experiences of sanctification and the baptism of the Holy Spirit in the Azusa Street mission, and she soon entered wholeheartedly into the efforts there. Along with others, she was instrumental in recording what occurred in those meetings and putting the accounts into a newspaper format. The publication was called The Apostolic Faith.
In addition to her efforts in the publishing work, Florence Crawford felt God’s call to travel beyond the boundaries of Los Angeles with the Pentecostal message. In December of 1906, she made her initial visit to Portland, Oregon, where she had been invited to preach in an independent church at Southwest Second and Main Streets. Subsequently, the pastor of that church offered her his pulpit permanently, and in 1908, Florence Crawford moved to Portland and established the Apostolic Faith Mission of Portland, Oregon.
The purpose in founding this religious organization was to maintain and teach the doctrines taught by Christ and His Apostles in the days of the Early Church, and to spread the Gospel in its fullness to people of every land.
Organizational structure is necessary for the harmony and effective operation of any church. It establishes uniform principles, offices, accountabilities, and procedures for congregational life.
In the Apostolic Faith, the Superintendent General is charged with the responsibility of leading the work. A Board of Trustees, under the direction of the Superintendent General, collaborates with him in overseeing business and legal affairs. Pastors of branch churches in the United States report to the Superintendent General, who also serves as Senior Pastor of the Portland headquarters church. Regional directors, district superintendents, assisting ministers, retired pastors, and other veteran workers fill designated supervisory roles.
In the early days of the Azusa revival, the leaders there took the Bible verse, Jude 3, for a motto: “Earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” It is not hard to understand why that verse was chosen. The revival at the Azusa Street mission in Los Angeles had attracted attention from secular media, and those who attended the mission faced persecution and ridicule.
This verse was featured on the publications printed at Azusa to proclaim the news of the Pentecostal outpouring. When production of the paper was relocated to Portland, Florence Crawford kept the verse on every issue of what would become our flagship publication. Originally titled The Apostolic Faith, it now bears the name Higher Way.
The mission of the Apostolic Faith organization has always been to present the Latter Rain Gospel in its fullness and to lead the unconverted to God. In the year 2000, a written mission statement for the Apostolic Faith work defined in words the purpose that has been in place since the organization’s founding.
The mission of the Apostolic Faith Church is to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We accomplish this as we:
Pray – We make prayer the basis of every ministry and encourage communion with God as the way we grow to spiritual maturity in Him.
Preach – We emphasize the original Pentecostal doctrines of salvation, sanctification, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, continually striving to develop fully committed disciples of Jesus Christ.
Publish – We publish the Gospel through the printed word, the spoken word, and through our personal lives, daily looking for opportunities to spread the message, “Ye must be born again.”
Although the design of the corporate logo has been modified and updated periodically over the years, it has always featured the phrase “Jesus the Light of the World.” These words initially were displayed in 1917 as an electric sign on the Portland headquarters building at Southwest Front and Burnside Streets. In 1921, when the tabernacle was constructed on the campground, a ten-foot gold star was placed at the top of the arch above the same words. When the headquarters church was moved to Northwest Sixth and Burnside in 1922, the same message shone from the roof of the new building; it remained there until the property was sold.
As years have come and gone, branch churches in many locations have chosen to display the same heartwarming message. Today, from Asia to the Caribbean and across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe, Scandinavia, and Africa, hundreds of Apostolic Faith churches display the words chosen to be on the corporate logo.
The foundational doctrines of the Apostolic Faith organization have stood the test of the ages. They are simple Bible truths expounded through the centuries by leading Christians, many of whom were willing to suffer martyrdom in defense of the Word of God.
As a Trinitarian and fundamental church, one of our key teachings is the necessity for a born-again salvation experience. Entire sanctification (holiness) as a second, definite experience, and the need for sanctified believers to receive the experience of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, are also central to our church’s doctrinal position. We hold to the Arminian teaching of man’s free will rather than to the Calvinistic belief of predestination and eternal security, and teach the importance of living an overcoming Christian life on a daily basis.
One unique aspect of our organization is the unity among our members around the world, in spite of differences in race, culture, and background. This unity is tied, in a great measure, to our consistent doctrine and practice.
Following is a brief description of the core doctrines taught and upheld by the Apostolic Faith. These and other basic Bible truths provide the solid, Scriptural foundation on which this church stands.
The Divine Trinity consists of three Persons: God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Ghost, perfectly united as one. Matthew 3:16-17; 1 John 5:7.
Repentance is a godly sorrow for and a renouncing of all sin. Isaiah 55:7; Matthew 4:17.
Justification by faith (salvation) is the act of God’s grace through which one receives forgiveness for sins and stands before God as though he had never sinned. Romans 5:1; 2 Corinthians 5:17.
Entire Sanctification is the act of God’s grace whereby one is made holy, is the second definite work and is subsequent to justification. John 17:15-21; Hebrews 13:12.
The Baptism of the Holy Ghost is the enduement of power upon the sanctified life, and is evidenced by speaking in tongues as the Spirit gives utterance. John 14:16-17, 26; Acts 1:5-8; 2:1-4.
Divine Healing of sickness is provided through the atonement.
James 5:14-16; 1 Peter 2:24.
The Second Coming of Jesus will consist of two appearances. First, He will come to catch away His Bride. Matthew 24:40-44; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17. Second, He will come to execute judgment upon the ungodly. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; Jude 14-15.
The Tribulation will occur between Christ’s coming for His Bride and His return in judgment. Isaiah 26:20-21; Revelation 9 and 16.
Christ’s Millennial Reign will be the 1000 years of peaceful reign by Jesus on earth. Isaiah 11 and 35; Revelation 20:1-6.
The Great White Throne Judgment will be the final judgment when all the wicked dead will stand before God. Revelation 20:11-15.
The New Heaven and The New Earth will replace the present heaven and earth, which will be destroyed after the Great White Throne Judgment.
2 Peter 3:12-13; Revelation 21:1-3.
Eternal Heaven and Eternal Hell are literal places of final and eternal destiny. Matthew 25:41-46; Luke 16:22-28.
Marriage is a covenant between one man and one woman that is binding before God for life. Neither person has a right to marry again while the first companion lives. Mark 10:6-12; Romans 7:1-3.
Restitution is necessary, wherein wrongs against others are righted.
Ezekiel 33:15; Matthew 5:23-24.
Water Baptism is by one immersion “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Matthew 3:16; 28:19.
The Lord’s Supper is an institution ordained by Jesus so that believers might remember His death until He returns. Matthew 26:26-29; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26.
Foot Washing is practiced according to the example and commandment Jesus gave. John 13:14-15.